It has come to my notice that my boys are brand aware. I know, it is not something I should boast about nor is the fact that at a recent Birthday Party when the entertainer was doing guess the TV show tunes my eldest knew the lot within a heartbeat of each starting.
As The Boy got faster and faster at guessing, the party got quieter and quieter and all the other parents started to look around for the bad Mom in their midst. I admit I tried to disown him and pretend he wasn’t mine but when your eldest is doing so well and winning for once in his short life the battle between your chagrin at the fact that now the secret of your parenting technique is well and truly out and your pride and natural competitiveness in the fact that your son is winning, is short.
With everyone now glaring at me and condemning me for my obvious lack of parental control I held up my hand and admitted that yes my modus operandi on the Mummy front was to plonk him in front of the telly at every given opportunity. I will never forget the picture of my beaming son as he clutched his green balloon poodle – his prize for being the best. As for the looks I got from the other parents – I just put that down to envy. Not everyone’s child can be as gifted on the musical front as mine. Lionel Blair eat your heart out he’ll name that tune in one!
Now Bog Boy, my youngest, has also shown a marked proclivity to be able to do a similar trick, in that he is able to name the myriad of film and TV production companies based on the fleeting images at the beginning of the programmes and films he watches and with a disconcerting adroitness either sits down and gets comfy or dismisses the entire programme based on his experience of the production company in question.
So it was with great trepidation that I slid in a new DVD on a wet Sunday morning that had been sent for our family’s delectation as members of Think Parents.
I should not have worried for as soon as the credits came up and the familiar overuture started both boys cried out in unison: “Disney!”
For the next hour and a bit they were entranced by Adam Sandler as the story telling hero of Bedtime Stories while both parents blearily tried to keep up with the tale sipping strong coffee to ward off the effects of the night before and trying not to snort with laughter at the more adult digs and even the more puerile ones involving snot monsters.
And it got me thinking should I be concerned about my boys and the fact that they seem to watch way too much TV etc? Surely its not normal for them to be able to rattle off TV show tunes and production companies with such apparent ease I mean they are only six and three!
Then I thought about my own upbringing. I remembered all too clearly the excitement of watching The Wonderful World of Disney and of how I would be transfixed by the fairytale castle in the opening credits and shouting at my parents to come quick as it was starting. In those days it wasn’t cartoons or films on the show but natural history about the animals: the Grizzly bears and their cubs. I would be lost for the hour the show ran and even today some 35 years later whenever I hear the music a sort of warm comfy feeling washes over me.
And yes on Sunday morning we all of us tried to guess the movie from the clips at the beginning of the DVD. I’d like to say I won but I think I was pipped to the post by the Boys. And do I worry about it? Do I feel I have to apologise? To be honest not really. I like to think that when my boys watch TV/DVDs etc they are discerning and go for quality not quantity – it’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!